The Obama Administration’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others accused of masterminding the 9-11 terrorist attacks in civilian federal court in New York City has sparked all sorts of ire — from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s media campaign over the weekend, some members of Congress, and Governor Paterson himself.
So where do New Yorkers themselves come down in this debate? According to new Marist poll, city residents are pretty divided too, and the divisions appear to run on party lines. 57 percent of Republicans think the trials will make New York more of a target, while only 38 percent of Democrats do…
Overall, New Yorkers seem fairly comfortable with the prospect of trying the accused terrorists in the place where the attacks occurred. 45 percent of New Yorkers think it’s a good idea, versus 41 percent who don’t. 14 percent just don’t know what to think (well, it has only been a few days). Following his generally high approval ratings, more than half of city residents surveyed are confident in Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s ability to handle the security risks of holding the trial here.
The detainees, who are being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, face the death penalty.